Behind the scenes – doing visibility my way at Sunnyside Cottage


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Fancy a look behind the scenes at some of the things I’ve learned since taking over a dog friendly holiday cottage?

I’ve been working with pet business owners for five years but have always felt a little lacking because I didn’t have a pet business of my own.

That changed in April 2023 when I started a new holiday cottage business and took over Sunnyside Cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay.

My plan was to make it a paradise for pups, and to implement what I’ve learned working as a journalist, coach, and blogger supporting other small businesses.

In this podcast episode, I’m sharing how the first few months have been, what’s worked and what you can take away and use to raise your profile.

Key topics and timings in this podcast:

Making the decision to buy a holiday cottage (1.51)

What to expect from this episode (2.20)

Being featured in The Guardian and how that came to happen (3.13) 

The difference in lifespan between a backlink and a post on social media (6.50)

How the opportunity came about (7.30)

Working with photographer Kerry Jordan to capture what dog friendly really is (12.20)

Why good photography matters so much and the importance of telling the story of your brand through images (14.18)

Differentiating Sunnyside from other cottages (15.36)

Taking no notice when people told me I was too full on with the dog-friendly element (17.10)

What’s worked on social media (18.02)

Working with bloggers and influencers (21.18)

Using your own network to grow your business (28.00)

How to get value from working with bloggers and influencers (28.33)

Why you SHOULD go all in on doing things your way (31.53)

Standing up for what you believe in (32.35)

Not making assumptions (33.33)

People who value what you do will find you (34.34)

Value people who support you (34.53)

Forward planning and working on Christmas in July (35.12)

Measuring your growth (35.53)

Good things take time, be patient, try new things and get excited (37.17)

How to find out more about Sunnyside (38.10)

Further reading on this topic:

How to write a press release for your pet business

Five steps to get your pet business in the press

How to plan a photoshoot for your pet business

Working with bloggers and influencers with Vicky Gunn from Millies Beach Huts

Links mentioned in this episode:

Come and hang out in my free Facebook group:

Learn more about photographer Kerry Jordan:

Sunnyside Cottage in The Guardian:

Follow-up story in Yorks Press:

Win a two-night stay competition – entries close 13th August 2023:

Review on Dotty4Paws:

Review on Woof Wag Walk:

Lynne Taylor post on solo breaks:

My blog post on my own pet blog:

Sunnyside Cottage on Baytown:

Report on the lifespan of a post different types of social media platforms:,


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Fiona Pedley is known as The Canine VA, a virtual assistant specialising in supporting dog businesses. A former executive assistant working in corporate, Fiona began her self-employed journey in the 2020 lockdown, making the leap to start her own business. As a dog mum and having studied an...
In June 2023, I launched my first pet-related business, a dog-friendly holiday let called Sunnyside Cottage in Robin Hood’s Bay.  In the first year, the bookings and takings have doubled compared to the previous year, and I’m sharing how in this podcast episode. It has always been a dr...
Fancy a look behind the scenes at some of the things I’ve learned since taking over a dog friendl...

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